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Characters / Carnivale The Carnivale

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Leadership

    Management 

Management a.k.a. Lucius Belyakov

Portrayed By: Michael Massee, Linda Hunt

  • Ambiguous Gender: Never seen in the flesh, goes by the gender-neutral alias "Management", and is voiced by a woman despite being the very male Lucius Belyakov in a previous life. Apparently, casting off his physical body also caused Belyakov to cast off his gender.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Lost both legs and one of his arms after being attacked by a bear while hunting Scudder during World War I.
  • Big Good: Arguably since his goal is to save the world from the Apocalypse.
  • Body Horror: When he finally appears, as he's horribly scarred from being mauled by a bear.
  • The Chessmaster: Is manipulating everything in the series.
  • The Faceless: He's always hidden behind a curtain. He's finally seen in Season 2, and isn't exactly the prettiest thing to look at.
  • The Ghost: From the perspective of anyone who isn't Ben, Lodz or Samson, at least. In more ways than one, considering he's Lucius Belyakov, who took on an incorporeal bodiless form after he was near-fatally mauled by a bear.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Undertakes many questionable actions in the pursuit of the greater good.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: There's a curtain separating his bed from the rest of the trailer.
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    Samson 

Samson

Portrayed By: Michael J. Anderson

The dwarf co-manager of the Carnivàle.


  • The Barnum: Downplayed, as his carnival features genuinely supernatural things on display, but when the carnival's in need of a quick buck he's not afraid of resorting to these sorts of tactics.
  • Little People Are Surreal: Averted. He's one of the most reasonable and down to earth people in the series.
  • Nerves of Steel: Fairly old, but proves himself to be fairly resilient under pressure.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Neither Management nor Ben really impress Samson with their powers.
  • Only Sane Employee: He's been keeping a carnival of freaks running smoothly and is pretty much the only reason Ben, Management, and Lodz can cooperate in any way.
  • Only Sane Man: You'd think Samson would have learned; Avatara are not the most mentally-stable of people.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Samson's solution to the Babylon problem - specifically Stangler escaping Carny Justice and no one being held accountable for Dora Mae's death? Shoot Stangler between the eyes anyway.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: His size isn't an impediment to his badassery.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Frequently, to Ben, especially when Ben kills Management, the necessity of which Samson cannot understand.

    Lodz 

Lodz

Portrayed By: Patrick Bauchau

Acts

    Sofie 

Sofie Agnesh Bojakshiya

Portrayed By: Clea Duvall

  • The Antichrist: Revealed to be the Omega in the series finale.
  • Attempted Rape: Almost gets raped by a couple of mechanics in the first episode. Ben manages to save her, however.
  • Bi the Way: Is in love with Ben and has a quick fling with a guy in one of the towns they're passing through, yet also has tension with Libby.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: In the finale.
  • Broken Bird: A lifetime of being in constant telepathic communication with your mother'll do that to you. She becomes progressively more broken over the series.
  • Child by Rape: Was conceived when Justin raped Apollonia.
  • Circus Brat: She was born into the carnival.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the series finale.
  • Fortune Teller: Her job in the carnival, which she does with a pack of Tarot cards.
  • Heroic BSoD: Multiple times, although to be fair, it really does suck to find out that your mother tried to kill you because you were the product of a rape, the daughter of the Antichrist, and very probably heir to some serious demonic powers.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Or, Lipstick Bisexual. She makes out with Libby, but nothing is ever really made of it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of "The Road to Damascus", she leaves the Carnivale for good, saying there's nothing left for her there.

    Apollonia 

Apollonia

'Portrayed By: Diane Sallinger

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    Ruthie 

Ruthie

Portrayed By: Adrienne Barbeau

  • Back from the Dead: Ben resurrects her in the first season finale after she dies of a snake bite, using trading Lodz's life for hers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her editorial comment to Justin forcing Iris to ride the Colossus in the finale:
  • Ethical Slut: She gets around and others demean her for it but all of her encounters are shown in a positive light and she pointedly says she's never let any man, God included, tell her what to do in her bed.
  • I See Dead People: Begins seeing ghosts after being resurrected, including those of Apollonia and Lodz.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Is killed and resurrected as part of a scheme by Management and Lodz to get Ben to use his full power.

    Gabriel 

Gabriel

Portrayed By: Brian Turk

  • Berserk Button: Do not touch his Mama.
  • The Big Guy: He's the circus strongman, and is considerably larger than most everyone else.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He may have the mind of a child, but you don't want to piss him off.
  • Gentle Giant: As long as you don't hurt Ruthie, he's fine.
  • Momma's Boy: Justified, as he's mentally handicapped, and Ruthie is the only one who can calm him down.

    Lila 

Lila

Portrayed By: Debra Christofferson

  • Pet the Dog: Lila assisting Ruthie in wrapping Dora Mae's body in silk and telling stories about how much the Carnivale really loved her is absolutely tearjerking.
  • The Dragon: To Lodz, even after his death.
  • The Vamp: "When you're done with Grandma, you come see Lila." Yowza.

    Gecko 

Gecko

Portrayed By: John Fleck

The Lizard Man at the carnival.

    The Potter Sisters 

Alexandria & Caladonia Potter

Portrayed By: Karyne & Sarah Steben

Twins conjoined at the hip.

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The Dreifuss Family

    Stumpy 

Felix "Stumpy" Dreifuss

Portrayed By: Toby Huss

  • Bumbling Dad: He really does love his daughters, but he's not the brightest bulb in the box.
  • Henpecked Husband: Rita Sue wears the pants in that family and everyone knows it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: All his dubiously-legal hijinks - pimping his wife and daughters, blatantly cheating the public, shilling fake healers, gambling - are so obviously due to his devotion toward his family. Well, except for the gambling, since he's generally terrible at it, which leads them into trouble. Still, with everything else that's the part of his character most depicted as a failing.

    Rita Sue 

Rita Sue Dreifuss

Portrayed By: Cynthia Ettinger

    Libby 

Libby Dreifuss

Portrayed By: Carla Gallo

  • Lipstick Lesbian: Along with Sofie, it's more like a case of Lipstick Bisexual.
  • Miss Fanservice: Well, she's one of the carnival's strippers, so this is a given.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Her marriage to Jonesy has elements of this in the beginning, but she definitely grows up in "Lincoln Highway".

    Dora Mae 

Dora Mae Dreifuss

Portrayed By: Amanda Aday

  • And I Must Scream: Not only is she murdered, but her ultimate fate is to serve as the eternal plaything for a bunch of rapist immortal miners.
  • Miss Fanservice: Another one of the carnival's strippers.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: The most extreme example in the series. She's murdered by the miners in Babylon, and then becomes their plaything as a ghost.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Horribly, horribly averted in "Babylon".

Roustabouts

    Jonesy 

Clayton "Jonesy" Jones

Portrayed By: Tim DeKay

  • Badass Normal: Isn't one of the freaks, nor does he possess any supernatural abilities, but is a badass nonetheless.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The victim of it, in "Lincoln Highway".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Count the number of times Tim DeKay is shirtless. When he's not shirtless, he sometimes wears a tank top.
  • Grease Monkey: Is often seen working.
  • Handicapped Badass: At least, until he gets better. Then he's just a badass.
  • Happily Married: In season two, to Libby.
  • The Lancer: To Ben, especially in the latter half of Season Two.

    Ben 

Ben Hawkins

Portrayed By: Nick Stahl

  • Always Save the Girl: Especially in the series finale:
    Jonesy: What if Sofie's dead?
    Ben: Then God help 'em. God help every single person in that valley.
  • Animal Motifs: Ben Hawkins to contrast with his adversary, Justin Crowe.
  • Bank Robbery: According to Word of God, this is what went wrong and landed Ben in the chain gang before the series begins.
  • Big Good: After he kills Management, gaining his powers.
  • Blessed with Suck: He hates his powers and tries to hide them away so he can live normally.
  • Break the Cutie: Happened to him as a kid due to his insane, abusive mother. Particularly when said mother drowned a kitten he had just brought back to life, calling it "unnatural".
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: He gets drunk very easily, which Jonesy comments on.
  • Catchphrase: A drinking game could be made of the number of times he tells someone "None of your goddamn business."
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